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SBD’s Experts Fill Out Their 2021 NBA Playoff Brackets



sbd's experts fill out their 2021 nba playoff brackets

Harden and Kyrie

James Harden and the Networks are popular stock picks. (Photo by Brian Rothmüller / Icon Sportswire)

  • The 2021 NBA Playoffs with 16 teams will begin on Saturday May 22nd
  • Every member of the SBD editorial team has completed their brackets
  • See which problems each expert picks, along with their best bet, to win the 2021 NBA title

The 2021 NBA Playoffs officially begin on the weekend of May 22-23. After the play-in tournament is officially closed, the Bucks and Heat bring us into action on Saturday afternoon with every series this weekend.

The favorite in the NBA championship odds in the playoffs are the Brooklyn Nets with an average odds of +232. LeBron James and the Lakers are the next betting favorites. Will they meet with the Nets in the final – or is another matchup planned?

>> Download the printable 2021 NBA Playoffs Bracket <

2021 NBA Championship picks

SBD expertChooseOpportunities at DraftKings
Ryan SuraBrooklyn networks+250
Ryan MetivierUtah Jazz+700
Sascha ParukBrooklyn networks+250
Mitch RobsonPhiladelphia 76ers+700
Matt McEwanBrooklyn networks+250

NBA championship picks aside, here’s a full breakdown of each employee:

Ryan Sura | Ryan Metivier | Sascha Paruk | Mitch Robson | Matt McEwan

Ryan Suras NBA Playoffs Bracket

Ryan Suras 2021 NBA championship winner

Having Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden on the same team should be a federal offense. Since that’s not the case in the NBA, I’ll be rolling with the Brooklyn Nets to win the Larry O’Brien.

The trio have only played eight games together (5.8% of Nets’ regular season minutes), but that doesn’t change the fact that these three players are considered the league’s deadliest goalscorers. The nets have a devious depth, too, from seasoned veterans and zealous young guns. +250 is by no means a glamorous number. If the books are trying to get bettors to reach for longer odds, I’ll go with the more obvious choice this year.

Ryan Metivier’s NBA Playoffs Bracket

Ryan Metiviers 2021 NBA Championship Pick

I kind of feel dirty picking the last four with all four of the top seeds. But then again, not many take jazz to go the distance, so I still feel a little contrary.

The Jazz is the top team in the league, has only lost five times in the Vivint Arena and ended the season with wins in seven out of nine games. They ended strong without the services of Donovan Mitchell, who has had a career year in points and assists. However, his ankle injury appears to be improving and their Star Guard is preparing to be ready for Game 1 of the playoffs.

Utah had the best record, 5th place ATS, 1st place on rebound, 4th place on offense and 3rd place on defense.

The Clippers weren’t that good on the track and LeBron has dealt with their own injuries, so the Jazz at a slightly better price (compared to the top 4) is my pick for the title.

Sascha Paruk’s NBA Playoffs Bracket

Sascha Paruk’s 2021 NBA Championship Pick

Does my bracket really need an explanation? I lost LeBron in the final to the team with three of the top ten players in the NBA.

There is a minimum of historical precedent, isn’t there? Perhaps this is the year a balanced team like Utah Jazz beat the top-heavy Lakers and Nets. If so, I’ll revise my approach to betting on the NBA playoffs … next season.

Excitement in the 1st round: Mavericks (+300)

My big first round pick – Dallas over LAC – is more of a prize game (meaning I probably wouldn’t use them in a bracket competition). At +300, the Mavs are undervalued. Luka Doncic and Company took two out of three from the Clippers in the regular season and Dallas did equally well at home and away (21-15).

I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if the Mavs take a 2-1 lead in the series or are at least tied in four games, which gives you the opportunity to re-evaluate the matchup with the odds in your favor.

Mitch Robson’s NBA Playoffs Bracket

Mitch Robsons 2021 NBA Championship pick

  • Philadelphia 76ers (+700)

The Sixers were apparently written off as losers of the networks in the east, and I just don’t see it. While the three Nets superstars gave an offensive assessment of the record values ​​while sharing the floor together, I don’t trust that this tiny sample size can keep up with the strenuous test of a final run.

Joel Embiid plays at MVP level, and if he’s locked up like he was for most of this season I can’t see any team being able to completely contain him. Although Ben Simmons’ offensive limitations are well known, Daryl Morey has put together a supporting cast who can score enough while showing what is probably the best, most versatile defense of the postseason.

Matt McEwan’s NBA Playoffs Bracket

Matt McEwan’s 2021 NBA Championship Pick

With James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant only playing eight games together this season, I expect the Nets will be in mounting pain as the playoffs begin. But even a Nets team playing to 70-80% of their potential is good enough to run through the Jaylen Brown-less Celtics and even get past the Bucks in the second round.

If you have to face the Sixers, you’ve found your groove. With Harden acting more of a mediator, Brooklyn is just too deadly on the offensive and surprisingly efficient (+7.2 net rating if the three are on the ground together). The Lakers will provide resistance in the NBA Finals, but I just don’t foresee their best defense to worry the nets.

First round upset – blazer over nuggets

This isn’t technically a surprise due to the odds of winning, but it’s what I’m most likely to encounter with a surprise on the first round.

While it looks like the Nuggets learned to play without Jamal Murray – who made a 0.722 percent profit since his knee injury at the end of the season – the Blazers are even hotter after winning 10 of their last 12, and are perfectly healthy.

Author's picture

Mitch Robson

Senior NBA Editor

Senior NBA Editor

Mitch graduated from Ryerson University’s Sport Media program in June 2018 and has been with SBD since 2019. He has worked in broadcast and digital for Score, Sportsnet, TSN and CBC and has performed play-by-play for basketball at all levels including NCAA, Pan Am Games & U Sports.


Mitch graduated from Ryerson University’s Sport Media program in June 2018 and has been with SBD since 2019. He has worked in broadcast and digital for Score, Sportsnet, TSN and CBC and has performed play-by-play for basketball at all levels including NCAA, Pan Am Games & U Sports.

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